REBECCA ROBERTS, host: July 2nd, 1881 was a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. President James A. Garfield arrived that morning at the Baltimore and Potomac train station on the National Mall eager to get going on a trip to Massachusetts with his sons. He never got on the train. Charles Guiteau, a deranged former lawyer and evangelist who believed Garfield owed him an ambassadorship, stepped out of the shadows and shot the president once in the arm and once in the back. Garfield seemed at first as if he might recover, but then, his doctors got involved.
In 1992, the album Hollywood Town Hall launched the career of the Minnesota band The Jayhawks, making it a seminal force in the burgeoning sound known as alt-country. Co-founders Mark Olson and Gary Louris found their harmonies and their songwriting styles fit together like few others, and The Jayhawks toured relentlessly — so much so that it took them three years to follow up that hit album with a new one.
Originally published on Mon October 17, 2011 7:26 am
Day in and day out, Stephen Cordner sorts through a big jumble of human bones. He's the director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Victoria, Australia. The bones he's handling this day are unusual: They belong to the legendary Ned Kelly.
"I don't think anybody grows up in Australia without hearing about Ned Kelly," Cordner tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Roberts.
Even in death, Kelly is larger than life in Australia. So large that he's been played in movies by both Heath Ledger and Mick Jagger.
Taking a cue from the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, protesters across the world took to the streets Saturday to demonstrate against what they say is corporate greed, the banks and government austerity cuts.
Organizers of the global protests say there will be demonstrations in 951 cities in 82 countries. On their website, the organizers say they're demanding change and to let politicians and the financial elite know it's up to the people to decide the future.
While much of the focus this past week has been on an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., diplomats and law enforcement officials in the U.S. and Europe also began to take aim at Syria for an alleged conspiracy to intimidate dissidents abroad.
Syrian-American Mohamad Soueid was indicted in the U.S. on charges he passed information about dissidents back to the country's intelligence services.
On Monday, a judge is set to decide whether he should remain in prison pending his trial.
Originally published on Sat October 15, 2011 10:42 am
Militants tried to blast their way into an American base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, striking before dawn with rocket-propelled grenades and a vehicle packed with explosives.
The attackers failed to breach the gate of the base in Panjshir province's Rakha district, though they did hit a security tower with a rocket-propelled grenade, said provincial Police Chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh.
Liberia held presidential elections this week. The front runner and current president of Liberia is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month. But awards notwithstanding, Liberia remains a place recovering from a 14-year-long civil war, with much of the country too poor even to have electric power or clean running water. Scott Simon talks with Tim Butcher, former Africa correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, about the challenges facing the country.
A relatively small election is getting intense interest in Arizona. It's an election to recall State Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona's strict immigration laws. As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, the recall election is splitting the community along religious as much as political lines.